I started using pharmacy coupons recently (the kind where you get a gift card for $20 or more when you purchase a new or transferred prescription) and in addition to getting free money to spend at places like CVS, Walgreens, and Target, I noticed something interesting. There are BIG price differences for the same prescription depending on where you get them filled.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before that there might be; I guess I just assumed that prices would be similar on medically necessary things everywhere, but prescriptions are no different than anything else you buy. For a 30-day supply of iron, I’ve paid anywhere from just over $2 to $6 for the exact same prescription. (Target was by far the most expensive.) So it pays to shop around, and you may as well have the stores themselves pay you to do so. I’ve gotten Walgreens gift card coupons in the mail, and CVS sometimes has them as well. I’ve also seen them for sale on ebay. The best part is that many places will accept competitor’s coupons; just call ahead to make sure.